I have a decorative outdoor water fountain (actually 2 of them).
Unfortunately every year the leaves fall into the fountain and
eventually the pump gets clogged. I try to clean out the leaves as
much as possible but the leaves wear down the pump and the pump
stops. It will work sporatically, then stop all together. Then I
have to buy another pump. This has been repeated several times. Any
suggestions on how to keep the leaves out of the pump?
A screen over the pump inlet is likely to clog in short order,
starving the pump. The logical choice of pumps would be a trash
tolerant type, but with recirculation that leads to a reservoir of
cruddy water. Other choices are getting rid of the trees, using a
temporary cover in the heavier leaf fall season, shutting the system
down at that time, or using city water and sending the overflow down
the drain. Tough call, for sure.
First you need a filter. Get or make a filter with lots of surface area
and coarse filter media. Lowes sells pumps that come with a half assed
filter that works great for leaves but not fine debris.
Also when you clean out the leaves, remove the filter and use the garden
hose to flush the system backwards. Flushing the pump backwards I don't
see how much will stay clogged.
I took a plastic milk carton, cut the top off, and drilled holes in it.
Stuck the pump in the carton then put some filter material in to block the
pump in. Seems to work pretty well. There are all sorts of methods though.
I suspect you could just cut a flap in the milk carton too and leave one
side of the flap still attached. It would just close itself. Cut a notch in
the flap for the power cord.
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